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Michael Peterson steals the show in Gstaad
By CSO European Contributing Journalist, Christian Lamitschka.
(Click on the pictures to see the larger version)

The 16th Country Night once again was a huge success.

Lonesome_River_Band_06.JPG (80910 bytes)The Show started off at 6 p.m. with the Lonesome River Band (right), who are at home in the world of Bluegrass Music.  The band which was founded in the Eighties and has been on tour with a variety of members offered the audience a nice opening act.  The Lonesome River Band is one of the top bluegrass bands in the US.  All present members of the band are from the southern states.  The five musicians follow the traditional style of Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs.  However, it is also important to them to include their own sound in their music.  One of the first highlights of the Lonesome River Band was their album "Carrying The Tradition" which was released in 1991.  The album was voted "Album of the Year" by the International Bluegrass Music Jamie_ONeill_01.JPG (89404 bytes)Association.  This award gave a great boost to the bandís career.  The audience in Gstaad loved the band and asked for an encore.

Jamie O'Neal (right) and her band took the stage next.  Jamie found her way into Country Music through her parents.  At the age of two, her parents moved the family from Australia to Hawaii, where her little sister was born.  Five years later, the family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, Americaís gambling capitol.  It was there, that Jamie had her first performance on stage at the age of eight.  After finishing high school as an average student she moved to Nashville, Tennessee and started working towards her goal of being a solo artist.  She started writing and singing her own songs.  In 1998 she received a contract from EMI, Nasvhille and the rest is history. 

After Jamie O'Neal's set there was a 50-minute break while the crowds headed for the concession stands.

Then Michael Peterson (right) took the stage and the audience.  Michael, born in Tucson, Arizona, was the real star of the Michael_Peterson_06.JPG (136050 bytes)Country Night Gstaad.  Right from the beginning of his show he made it clear that he would do everything for his audience and right there he stole their hearts.  He talked with the fans, shared anecdotes from his life, and offered tips on how a 'man' should behave before marriage. In a very unique way, he encouraged the audience to sing along.  It was simply a pleasure to listen to Michael Peterson.  His show had the quality of stars like Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson.  Michael Peterson, a very experienced performer, released his first CD in 1986.  It was a Christian CD, which is not unusual for the US.  In 1997 Warner Bros. Nashville released Michael Peterson's first real Country Album.  The self-titled-album included four hit songs: "Drink, Swear, Steal And Lie", "From Here To Eternity", "Too Good To Be True" and "When The Bartender Cries".  The album went platinum.

Following this success, Michael caught the attention of Universal Music International.  They produced and released the album "Modern Man" which soared in the European market like a rocket.  After the stellar performance and TV takes, Michael made himself available for his fans until the wee hours of the morning, signing autographs for more than 4 hours.

LeAnn_Rimes_09.JPG (170779 bytes)Michaelís part of the show was by far the most entertaining of the evening.

LeAnn Rimes (right) has an incredible voice.  She is one of the most recognized artists in the US and is successful worldwide.  Her set was done very professionally.  At the age of 22 she is already had almost a decade in the spotlight.  We only wish she could devote more of her time and energy to her European fans. The crowd received her country tunes much more enthusiastically than the pop-rock tunes which dominated her set.

One of the delightful surprises of the Country Night in Gstaad was the short performance of Ronan Keating on Friday night.  All in all, the Country Night was once again a big success and by the broad variety of music from Bluegrass and Country to Country-Pop every fan found their favorites.  Everybody can already now look forward to the list of artists participating in Country Night 2005.

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )

 

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